Not every bull can stay in the arena and not every bull is fit for the fight.
We serve in the arena of public service and we daily find ourselves having to fight off lions, tigers and bears. Translated - co-workers, colleagues and citizens.
But may I encourage you? If you had not passed the test, you would not be in the arena! Don't quit now. You were made for this and you have the wounds, known only to you, to prove it.
In the bullfighting arena are two actors - the bull and the bullfighter. However, long before the bull enters the arena, it has passed a test that only he and the bullfighter standing in front of him knows he has passed - The Picador Test.
All bulls, before entering the bullfighting ring, must first pass the Picador Test.
In the Picador Test, a bull is brought into the arena, typically no fans, no fanfare - just him and the bullfighter in front of him, the Picador. The Picador sits on a horse draped in pads, with a lance in his hand. The Picador's job is to test the bull for durability and courage.
Each time the bull charges, the Picador pricks the bull with the lance. The bull retreats, but charges again. Then again. With each new charge comes another prick of the lance.
The bull's bravery is measured by how many times it charges, knowing that with each charge it will feel another sting from the lance.
Bulls that quit are taken to slaughterhouses and destroyed. But the ones who keep charging ahead, despite the sting and wounds from the many pricks, get to trot out onto the big stage, into the packed arena of cheering fans.
The same analogy applies to us. We serve and work in the arena of public service. We charge ahead each day. Some days we are stung by the prick of unfair criticism, other days by the prick of lies and insults. Still other days we are stung by the prick of rejection, the prick of getting fired, the prick of ridicule, or by the prick of betrayal.
But you have endured them. It is why you are where you are today! No one but you and God knows intimately every scar. God saw every prick from the Enemy. He saw every time you kept charging ahead by faith. He saw your tenacity to win. He saw every time when you kept a stiff upper lip, cried in private but performed in public. God saw your tears. He bound up your wounds.
You kept charging ahead. Wounded but charging. You didn't quit. They couldn't make you quit. They couldn't stop you. You didn't die where they tried to bury you.
So here you are. Perhaps wounded again and thinking of quitting. This message is to remind you of all the way God has brought you.
No leader is without wounds. Not one. Don't quit now. You have endured worse and will endure even more before your storied career is done.
Don't be hard on yourself. Don't doubt yourself. Temporary setbacks are just that, temporary.
Don't give up on yourself. You never would be in the arena had you not passed your Picador Test!
Keep charging ahead. Each prick is proof that you have what it takes to lead in an arena so desperately in need today of your tenacity, bravery, and leadership.
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. - James 5:11
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Published on Monday, August 19, 2019 @ 11:39 AM CDT